September 18, 2020 4:35 am

The partnership agreement allows Blackhawk to continue to manufacture Skywheels, a very popular high-inertia gyroplane rotor blade system

By Sandesh Ilhe

A six-year partnership agreement was recently signed between Blackhawk Composites Inc. (Blackhawk), in Morgantown, Kentucky, and both Air Command International LLC and Skywheels LLC, in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Kaylah West, left, Blackhawk Aerospace Composites general manager with Joe Covelli, center, Air Command and Skywheels president and Matt Shieman, Blackhawk Aerospace chairman. Blackhawk Photo
The partnership agreement allows Blackhawk to continue to manufacture Skywheels, a very popular high-inertia gyroplane rotor blade system that was recently reintroduced, as well as appoints Blackhawk as the exclusive manufacturer of rotorcraft parts and assemblies for Air Command’s gyroplane kit models. The new arrangement also names Blackhawk as the worldwide parts distribution center for all Air Command and Skywheels products.

“The Blackhawk Team is very excited about the opportunity to partner with Joe and his two companies to support the gyroplane market,” said Matt Shieman, chairman at Blackhawk Aerospace. “While this is a new market segment for Blackhawk, it is consistent with our desire to support the aviation industry and grow the involvement of pilots globally.”

Since the reintroduction of Skywheels composite rotor blades earlier this year, Blackhawk has manufactured eight total rotor blade sets, four of which are scheduled to ship out this month. To meet increasing demand, Blackhawk will ramp up production.

“Blackhawk and its talented team have truly earned the trust of our two companies as a manufacturing partner and allows us to expand into new areas with them as a single-source provider,” according to Joe Covelli, president at both Air Command and Skywheels. “The expansion will save money and time and allow us to offer competitively priced gyroplane kits shipped directly from Blackhawk to our customers worldwide. Blackhawk’s AS9100 aerospace standards and workflow process matches with our requirements in providing quality-built parts on-time and within strict specifications for ease of assembly by our customers, who are also the owner-builders of our products.”

Air Command and Skywheels’ products have been paired together since 1984, allowing each company to be built and prosper on the success of the other. In the beginning, Air Command was selling two gyroplane kits per day to meet worldwide demand.

Skywheels is an engineered rotor system compromised of two rotor blades, a center section, essential tower height parts, and AN retention hardware. The high-inertia design favors performance, safety, predictability, and forgiveness. Skywheels is designed to exceed the requirements of Federal Aviation Regulation Part 27 (requirements for normal category rotorcraft).

Air Command has been manufacturing build-to-fly gyroplane kits since its first flight in 1984 and is considered one of the oldest gyroplane kit manufacturers in business today. Air Command has an excellent, longstanding reputation in the world of gyroplanes for aeronautical design, safety and performance. Its do-it-yourself kits offer a fun experience at the right price point.

Sandesh Ilhe

With an Engineers degree in Advanced Database Management and Information Security, Sandesh brings the deep understanding of the digital world to the table. His articles reflect the challenges and the complexities that come along with every disruption in the industry. He carries over six years of experience on working with websites and ensuring that the right article reaches the right reader.

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